Maria Guadalupe Moog Rodrigues, Global Evnironmentalism and Local Politics: Transnational Advocacy Networks in Brazil, Ecuador, and India.
The role of national and transnational organizations in affecting change at the local level has been discussed widely in the development literature. Transnational non-governmental organizations have the technical, legal, political and monetary resources to focus on issues that local networks do not possess. These resources can be used to apply external pressure in the form of reduced funding from international sources, political pressure from other countries, and swings in national and international popular opinion.
Global Environmentalism and Local Politics examines the interplay between local, national, and transnational organizations in three different countries. The author is not only interested in describing the process and results of these networks, but also examining the balance of power between local, national, and transnational players. One of the authors' primary arguments is that "ellipsisthe effectiveness of a transnational environmental advocacy network depends, primarily, on the role that local member organizations play in determining the network's goals and strategies." To examine this argument the author asks several key questions: first, who participates in advocacy networks and how do they participate; second, what strategies are available and used by transnational groups and are they successful and third, what are the results of the transnational advocacy?
The book consists of eight chapters, four of which focus on the examination of the Rondonia network in Brazil. The examination of transnational networks in Ecuador (an anti-oil network) and India (the Narmada network) consist of one chapter each. The first chapter introduces the concept of transnational networks and concisely describes the goal of the book, the key questions employed, and the methods used. Chapters two through five examine various aspects of the Rondonia network in Brazil: the history of the network; its successes and failures; and the consequences transnational organizations have on local politics. The writing, particularly in these chapters, is thorough, yet dense. There are numerous abbreviations and acronyms that make it difficult to maintain the flow of the discussion. The text does include four pages at the front of the book describing the acronyms and abbreviations but the reader has to refer to these again and again. Additionally, a time line of significant events would have been helpful in summarizing the examination of the Rondonia network and focusing the discussion. Chapters six and seven discuss the history, main actors, and effectiveness of transnational networks in Ecuador and India respectively.
The two chapters on Ecuador and India are really used to provide comparisons to the discussion of the Rondonia network, and as such the level of analysis is not detailed. These chapters are, however, thorough and offer insightful analyses of the successes and failures of the transnational networks in both countries. Readers interested in the political interplay and power sharing between local, national, and transnational groups in the environmental field will find this book useful for its analysis and description of the issues.
Terry V. Shaw, University of California Berkeley
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|Author:||Shaw, Terry V.|
|Publication:||Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2005|
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